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Basic Survival – How to Purify Water for Drinking

Basic Survival – How to Purify Water for Drinking

The basic survival skill of knowing how to safely purify water for drinking can literally save your life. You can be fooled into thinking that because your out in the wild, miles away from civilization, that the water from streams and rivers would be safe to drink but this is not the case.

After obtaining shelter, water is one of your top priorities and regardless of your current supply, you should begin immediately securing a source.

Anyone venturing our into the wild must carry a good quality Personal Water Filter to ensure your can filter and purify any surface water source you find in a wilderness environment. 

Always be aware that surface water sources can be highly contaminated by animal feces, dead birds, insects and animal carcasses and not to forget, by humans as well.

A water source in the wild will most certainly contain harmful bacteria, parasites and pathogens that will cause you to become ill or worse. All water you find must be filtered and purified before it would be considered safe to drink.

The generally acceptable methods of emergency water purification include the use of chemical treatment using iodine or chlorine dioxide tablets, or sodium hypocrite (liquid chlorine) or by boiling the water for several minutes or by using a good qualityportable water filtration system   to make the water safe to drink. 

Basic Water Filtration  –  Layer Filter

basic water filter

Knowing how to filter water from a stream or river are good basic survival skills to have in the wilderness – Along with knowing how to purify that water you must also filter it as best as possible first.

Any drinking water must be filtered to remove the waterborne cysts that will harbor and protect bacteria from chemical treatment or even from boiling.

These cysts are best described as micro sized seedpods, super strong, that can withstand high temperatures. By using a filtering method – like the one shown here on the left – you will be able to remove the cysts as well as pesticides, herbicides, sediment, insects and other debris.

There are various filtering mediums you can use including, charcoal, sand, gravel, cloth, cheesecloth and coffee filters. This method require you to layer the various filter sections on top of each other with the finer material at the bottom – this will filter out the microorganisms.

You can use any waterproof container for this –  food can with a hole in the bottom, plastic soda bottle or any suitable device that did not contain any chemicals or other toxins. 

water boiling over open fire

The nest task is to purify the water – simply pour the water into a vessel for boiling or into your container for chemical treatment.

Once up to temperature and the water is boiling – Allow the water to rapid boil for one minute –  if you are at sea level.

If you suspect you are above sea level boil for three minutes as water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations because of the reduced air pressure thus, the extended boil time.

It is not necessary to boil for longer than the recommended times as this will only cause you to lose water volume through evaporation; this can be problematic if you have a limited source.

Every additional 500 feet above sea level, water’s boiling point is reduced by one degree.

Every time you venture out in the wilderness, you must carry a water filter 

Portable Water Filtration Systems

Without doubt, modern technology has helped everyone who goes out in the wild – knowing how to purify your water for drinking by using native, bare essentials methods is definitely a skill you must know, however, the introduction of portable water filters, that will guarantee safe drinking water is a must for us all.  

Just being able to stop at a stream or a dirty puddle and know you can get safe water to drink, instantly can only be a good thing when out in the wild.

Excellent portable water filters that I personally recommend.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter This is a serious bit of essential survival kit – you can literally bend down and sip from any water source and get clean,safe drinking water, instrantly – these are the specifications of the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

  • Award-winning LifeStraw has been used by millions around the globe since 2005
  • Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
  • Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
  • Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water WITHOUT iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals
  • Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies